Reaching 21 is the aim of the game in blackjack. After the cards are dealt, each player has a number of options and choices that could lead them to victory. While tactics and skill come into play, online blackjack is ultimately a game of chance like any other gambling game. Luck plays a key role in the outcome. Thanks to its simple rules and exciting play, blackjack is one of the most popular gambling games in the world.
The first thing for each player to do, even before receiving cards, is place a bet. This bet must be well considered because each bet is final. Once placed, the bet cannot be lowered; it can, however, be increased in variations that allow players to double down or split. After bets are placed, the dealer distributes cards, with each player receiving two cards face up. The dealer gets two cards as well, however, one is face up and one face down.
Some variations of blackjack allow players to place bets on more than one hand. Players can occupy multiple seats at the table, with cards dealt - and bets placed - separately for each of the hands. Playing in such a manner allows players to make up for lost hand with a winning hand. However, it also brings the risk of increased losses from multiple losing hands at the same time.
During each round, players calculate their initial card totals and then make decisions based upon the sum of the cards. The two basic options are to hit (take another card) or to stand (take no more cards). If a player decides to hit, then they’re not satisfied that their hand is capable of winning and they want to take another card and increase their total. Players can continue to hit until they go bust (exceed 21). The second decision implies the opposite: the player is satisfied with their card total.
Once all players have decided to stand, or gone bust, the dealer reveals the hole card (the card dealt face down). The dealer must hit until their cards total up to 17 points. At that point - depending on the variation of the game - the dealer either has to stand, or also hits on a “soft” 17. The next step is to compare the dealer’s and the player’s hands. The winner is the one who created a card total closest to 21 without exceeding it. If it’s a push (no one wins), the financial result of the game depends on the variation of blackjack. It can either mean that the player receives the wager back or that the house wins.
A number of other decisions are also available to players during each round. If a player gets two cards of the same value, he can split them (separate them to make two hands). Under such circumstances, the first wager is binding for both hands i.e. the total wager is doubled, with an equal amount on each hand. Some variants of blackjack allow players to split further and make four hands. The best hand is of course, blackjack (a 10-value card and an ace) and requires no further decisions!
The first written references to the game date back to the 17th century; Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes described a game whose object was to reach 21 points without going over. Later references to the game come from 18th century France and the popular game, Vingt-et-Un (which is translated as “twenty-one”). Some believe that the game is a combination of two other games played in France at that time: French Ferme and Chemin de Fer.
No matter the origins, blackjack as we know it today has many common rules with the games mentioned above. The modern popularity of blackjack started in casinos in the United States, especially in Las Vegas, where gamblers initially had the chance to take home huge wins. For example, for having a hand containing an ace of spades and a black jack (jack of clubs/spades) a gambler was paid ten to one!
Many versions of this classic game are currently played in online casinos. There are over 100 such varieties, and the object of the game is always the same. Before playing, it is important to check detailed rules of the game both in the casino’s rules and regulations and in reference to a particular version. The player can also obtain basic information from the dealer. Let’s look at some of the most common rules of blackjack.
The advantage is always on the dealer’s side, with the dealer able to win in many different situations. However, the skillful use of strategy may allow players to increase the probability of winning hands and reduce the dealer’s advantage.
Between one and eight 52-card decks are shuffled together to play blackjack, with a maximum number of seven players at the table. Players do not play against each other, but against the dealer. The same principle applies in online casinos.
Players make their bets and next the dealer deals cards: two cards face down for each player, one card face down and one face up for the dealer. Players check if they have satisfactory card totals. If not, they can take additional cards. They can also take one of the following decisions:
Hit - take another card.
Stand - stick with their cards, or “stand pat”.
Double down - increase the initial bet by 100% and take exactly one more card.
Split - separate two cards of the same value into two hands. In some casinos it’s possible to split again - up to four hands - should the player receive a further two cards of the same value.
Surrender - the house takes half of the player’s bet and returns the other half to the player.
Insurance - if the dealer's up card is an ace, the player is allowed to make an “insurance” bet. This is a side bet worth half the original and insures the player against the dealer receiving a blackjack.
Understanding card values in blackjack is straightforward. The object of the game is to create a card total equal to 21 points. All cards received from the dealer have the following value:-
Jacks, Queens and Kings are all worth 10 points.-
Ace s are worth either 1 or 11 points. Their value depends on the player’s decision.-
All other cards are valued from 2 to 10, so they have their pip value.
Up to 8 decks are used to play blackjack. All decks are shuffled together and placed in a device called a “shoe” which holds multiple decks of playing cards. Sometimes blackjack is played with only one card deck. It is called single-deck blackjack.
It’s beneficial to know how to use different blackjack strategies. Obviously, you will never get a guarantee of winning, but you may decrease the house edge. The ability to lower the house edge is one of the reasons why so many players around the world are interested in blackjack. Understanding tactics will make it easier to evaluate both yours and the dealer’s hand. Thus, you’ll put yourself in a position to make better decisions and potentially increase your chances to win.
If you choose online blackjack, you will have more time to take a decision in comparison to playing in a regular casino and can also refer to strategy charts. It is another advantage of playing online blackjack. Playing the game is not about guessing, but about understanding mathematical probability.
As well as strategies that relate to what decision the player should make once their cards have been received - hit, stand, double down, split etc, there are a number of strategies that relate to wager increases and decreases. For example, the classic Martingale Betting System. After each loss the player increases their wager, whereas after each win, they return to the original wager amount. The idea of this playing style is to try to make up for losses each time you win. While the system seems logical in principle, it doesn’t necessarily work in practice.
For example, the player can reach their predetermined budget - or the betting limit for the table - before even getting a winning hand. Seen from that perspective, progressive playing is a straight way to bankruptcy. Therefore, many players prefer another type of progressive playing which is simply called the Reverse Martingale. A player increases their wager only after a win. Once again, this system is not flawless, and in practice its payoff may be doubtful. While strategy and probability plays a part, ultimately, it all depends on the player’s luck with regards to the cards they receive.
As in any other gambling game, in blackjack there are some particular moves which have commonly used names. It is necessary to learn such terms in order to be able to play smoothly both in an online casino and a land casino. Here is a recap of the terms to be aware of:
Hit – a player asks for another card. The player can continue to hit until they reach 21, go bust, or decide to stop.
Stand – a player decides not to take any more cards.
Double down – a player doubles his initial bet and takes only one more card.
Split – a can split their cards into two separate hands if the first two cards received are of the same value. The player’s total wager is doubled, with a bet of identical value to the initial bet, placed onto the second hand.
Bust – a player automatically loses when the value of his hand exceeds 21.
Insurance – a side bet which can be made in a situation when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace.
Shoe - the device that holds the card decks.
Is playing blackjack in an online casino safe?
Nowadays you can be sure that gambling games offered by legal and licensed casinos are absolutely safe. Legal casinos have appropriate licenses, are heavily regulated and must meet strict rules to obtain their licenses. Thus, licensed casinos make sure that all games which they offer are legal. Therefore, your first step should not be choosing a particular game but finding a legal casino. Once you’ve found a licensed casino with a great offering of games, such as EnergyCasino, the next step is to find a blackjack game that suits your playing style and budget. There’s no need to worry about problems with games either, as games undergo frequent attestations carried out by independent auditors.
Can a beginning gambler try playing blackjack?
Absolutely! And playing an online game is an easier starting place than playing live in a casino, or even live blackjack. The basic premise of the game is simple and there are no special skills needed to start playing. All you need to do is learn basic rules of play, such as the options available to you and the values of cards, before you start playing. Do not forget that the object of the game is to hit the sum of 21 points, and that you lose if you exceed this sum.
Is it possible to play blackjack for free in an online casino?
Yes! No brick and mortar casino will offer you this possibility. Practically every online casino offers a free version of blackjack which is a demo version. Demo versions are available for players to test each game regardless of place and time. It is the best way to learn the rules of the game and to test the strategies which you have learnt. You do not risk money, so you can experiment with your play. Some online casinos may require you to create an account before you can play free or demo versions of games.
Is progressive jackpot an option in case of blackjack?
Progressive jackpot is very popular among players and it is also an option in blackjack. Progressive jackpot blackjack is a game where you can get not only an ordinary win but you can also make additional bets on the progressive jackpot.
How to play online blackjack?
It is a very simple game and the rules of play depend on the selected version of blackjack. The object of the game, however, is always the same: to collect a sum of 21 points. This sum will immediately make you a winner if you’ve been dealt a blackjack. If neither player nor dealer hits a blackjack, the winner will be the participant whose hand is the closest to the sum of 21 points without exceeding it. Reaching 22 points or more will mean immediate loss.
When a round opens, players make their bets. Each player plays against the dealer. After bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards face up to every player. Each card has its ascribed value. Cards from two to ten have their pip value. Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth ten. An ace can be worth either 11 or 1. After checking their cards, players decide on their next move. Available options include: hitting, standing, splitting or doubling. Hitting means that you take another card, whereas standing means that you take no more cards. Splitting involves creating two separate hands and is only possible in a situation when a player receives two cards of the same value. Then the player doubles his bet and must hit.
Players may hit when they feel they need to, whereas a dealer may hit up to the point when their hand totals 16 points. If the dealer’s hand is 17 or more – he needs to stand. The winner is the one whose card total is highest. If player or dealer have a sum of 21 points from their first two cards – they hit a blackjack.
Is blackjack available on mobile devices?
Each good online casino offers a possibility to play blackjack not only on its website as a desktop version, but also a mobile version, and in many cases also using a mobile app. Thus, you can play your favorite gambling games on your smartphone or tablet easily and comfortably. Playing blackjack on a mobile device requires an internet connection. You can play both for real money and entirely for free. When choosing an operator to gamble online, it’s worth checking whether a given online casino has a dedicated mobile app which will make playing in blackjack easier for you. EnergyCasino has a mobile app.
Is it possible to play live blackjack online?
Live blackjack is an online game with a real dealer. It is played according to the same rules as the classic game. We have a vast selection of live blackjack games for you to enjoy.